TWO Colne men are to take on a hair-raising challenge in honour of a local soldier who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan.
Pete Turner and Neil Stevenson will become unrecognisable over the coming months, growing their hair and beards in preparation for the Brighton Marathon in April, which they will complete, dressed as cavemen!
The friends, of Keighley Road and Parsonage Street, decided to take on the 26-mile run, after being set a challenge by Neil’s brother Gregg, who was injured in combat in 2009.
The green beret commando of Lowther Lane, Foulridge, lost both legs while on duty with the 24 Engineer Regiment in Afghanistan. Gregg was on foot patrol in the Helmand Province when he stepped on explosives and lost one leg above the knee and the other below the knee.
With a passion for sport, he has been unwilling to let his injuries hold him back, taking skiing lessons at the Chill Factore, Manchester, with the help of the charity Disability Snowsport UK.
The 27-year-old has also become a patron for golfing charity On Course Foundation, which helps injured servicemen and women continue enjoying the sport.
Pete said: “Gregg told us he wanted us to run a marathon to raise money for Disability Snowsport UK, which helped him to continue skiing after he was injured. Neil has been by his side since the accident and has always maintained he wanted to do something to show Gregg how brave he thinks he has been. Gregg challenged us to do a marathon and we couldn’t turn it down!”
Since signing up for the marathon, the friends have been keen to raise as much money as possible for the charity. Pete said: “We didn’t just want our endeavours to blend in with everyone else running a marathon, that’s where the caveman element came into play. We have decided to do the run dressed as cavemen and have agreed not to shave our faces or cut our hair until after we’ve finished it.”
The duo hope to raise £2,000 through their effort and are holding monthly mini-challenges to get the community involved.
Pete said: “We thought we would set a milestone target every month, and if we hit it, we agree to do something humiliating or painful in return.”
The first challenge has already been set - Neil and Pete have agreed to suffer a full chest wax if they manage to reach their target of £500 on October 31st. They will even post a video of the torturous minutes on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/Cavemanmarathon
Neil and Pete have only just over a week to go to reach their milestone. To help them, go to www.cavmanmarathon.co.uk